ISFJs are family orientated people who dream about being an integral part of a healthy, happy family. They’re usually very good at creating this as well, with a natural warmth and emotional intelligence that makes them very popular with others despite their natural quietness.
ISFJs and their Preferred Family Structures
ISFJs lead with the cognitive function introverted sensing. This function is very connected to the past. It takes in information from the world and compares it to past experiences and events to determine the value of those experiences and to make decisions. This function usually makes ISFJs strongly connected to the values and structures from the past, and can give them an attachment to traditional family structures and gender roles. ISFJs are one of the personality types that are the most likely to find themselves in an old fashioned sort of family situation and to fight any changes to what they see as the natural order.
The Dark Side of Families
ISFJs are tightly bound to traditional family roles and will expect others to be the same. This can be a problem if they have family members who are more independent and need a little space to grow and learn without the ISFJs influence. ISFJs just want to help, but their assistance can be smothering to these more autonomous types. It can even become controlling if the ISFJ feels rejected by the family member they’re trying to help, making them try even harder. And this kind of behavior can cause splits in familial relationship that are almost impossible to mend again.
ISFJs are very reliant on their relationships for their personal happiness and fulfilment. This is a good trait when a family is happy and healthy, but it can be extremely problematic when a family is damaging or destructive. ISFJs will avoid conflict and so they’ll often tolerate treatment and situations that other types would quickly walk away from. They also have trouble letting go of their relationships, which means they’ll hang onto a bad relationship far longer than they should. This refusal to let go is usually because of their strong belief in the sanctity of the family, but that isn’t the only reason. ISFJs have an innate need to help the people around them and are much more likely to try to help their family members at the cost of their own health and happiness rather than walk away. Needless to say, this can be incredibly dangerous for this type. ISFJs need to learn that their own needs must not always come second if they want to be really happy and safe.
Domestic Life and Potential Sources of Stress
ISFJs are organized and dependable and will find it very stressful if other family members try to break out of their established schedule or routine. Their natural tendency for order can create a very stable, secure family, but can also feel very confining to other types. ISFJs will struggle to understand when others rebel against the routines and schedules they create, and will sometimes see it as a personal attack. They need to understand that not everyone sees the world the same way they do, nor has the same need for order and boundaries in their lives.
ISFJs can take it very badly if a family member leaves for an extended time because of a job opportunity or other situation. This type is very family orientated and they hold tightly to traditional views of the family where everyone stays together. When things happen that upset this order, it can be almost more upsetting to this type than the actual absence. And if the separation becomes more permanent, such as in the case of a divorce, ISFJs are likely to take it very hard. To their minds, not only have they lost the person, but the system itself has been broken, and that can shake the foundations of their lives and their beliefs.
Finances and Other Responsibilities
ISFJs are truly brilliant at organizing things. They will apply these skills to taking care of their home and family, and will usually be happy to perform household chores. In fact, this type will probably set up a good working system to make sure that the chores get done in good time and to an appropriate standard. This need for order and aesthetic appeal is partly due to their extraverted feeling auxiliary function, which likes to care for others both directly and indirectly. It means that ISFJs usually see caring for their house as an extension and an integral part of caring for their family.
Because ISFJs are so organized, they’re usually fairly good at dealing with the family finances. Their dominant function, introverted sensing, is detail orientated and has a deep respect for the traditional ways of doing things. For ISFJs, this is usually expressed by a controlled and frugal approach to money that can create a nice little nest egg for their family. Despite this financial intelligence, ISFJs aren’t long term thinkers, so any type of speculative investments will have to be made by someone else in the family. Most ISFJs would rather be safe and certain than take risks like that anyway.
Going the Extra Mile for the Family
ISFJs are naturally service orientated and dedicated to their family. This includes everyone, from their immediate to their extended family, and the ISFJ will spend a lot of their time making sure everyone is healthy and happy and has what they need. This is because of their secondary function, extraverted feeling, which senses the emotions and needs of others and instinctively seeks to turn any negative issues into positive ones. This empathetic and emotionally intelligent approach to life makes them very popular as companions and confidants for other family members and ISFJs usually love being able to help in this way.
ISFJs make warm and dedicated parents, siblings and partners, and will use all of their considerable skill and emotional intelligence to keep their family happy and healthy. This can have its drawbacks of course, ISFJs can get so attached to the idea of a family that they ignore obvious problems, but that will rarely if ever make an ISFJ stop trying to achieve this dream.
- Storm Susan. “Understanding ISFJ Feeling“. Feb 6, 2017. (Retrieved Feb 2018).
- Storm Susan. “What Type of Feeler Are You? The Difference Between Extraverted and Introverted Feeling“. Aug 24, 2015. (Retrieved Feb 2018).
- “ISFJ – The Nurturer“.